Calgary-born, Toronto based artist Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist working across traditional and new media. She recently graduated with Distinction from the Ontario College of Art & Design University with a BFA major in Drawing & Painting. Her practice melds feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, fetishism, domesticity, queer identity, autobiography, and consumer culture through the use of painting, sculpture, printmaking, and performance. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the Spark Box Studio Emerging Artist Award. Her work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Canada and Europe. 



Kayla Polan (b. 1994, Calgary)

2012-2016   OCAD University - Bachelor of Fine Art, Distinction, Major Drawing & Painting - Toronto, Canada 
2014-2015   OCAD University - Florence Off-Campus Studies Program - Florence, Italy 

2017   Emerging Artist Residency Award - Spark Box Studio 
2016   Anne Adler Kagan Award - OCAD University 
2014   Aboveground Art Supplies Scholarship - OCAD University 
2014   Sandy McQueen Memorial Scholarship - OCAD University 
2013   Melville P. White Scholarship - OCAD University 

2017   X, Y & Zed - Featured Exhibition of Nuit Blanche - Glory Hole Gallery - Toronto, ON. 
2017   Fermenting Feminism - Critical Distance Centre for Curators - Artscape Youngplace - Curated by Lauren Fournier - Toronto, ON. (on view until November 26)
2017   YYZ Lab Residency Open House - YYZ Artists' Outlet - 401 Richmond - Toronto, ON.
2017   Works For Change - Screening & Exhibition of "This Art Works" by the Madeleine Collective - Featured Artist in Episode 1 "Doctors Against Intolerance & Normalizing BDSM" - Gardiner Museum - Toronto, Canada
2017   Vacancy - Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container - Curated by John Elammar - Featured Exhibition for Nuit Rose Festival - Toronto, Canada
2017   Embodied Resistance - Feminist Art Conference - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada
2016   Political Candy - The Pendulum Project - Studio 223A - Toronto, Canada
2016   This Is Not For You - 170 Spadina - Toronto, Canada
2016   Feminist Art Conference Residency Open Studio - Artscape Gibraltar Point - Toronto Canada
2016   GradEx - 101st Annual Graduate Exhibition - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada
2016   Festival of the Body - Annual Figure Exhibition - OCAD University Great Hall - Toronto, Canada
2016   Love Me Do - Yellow House Gallery - Toronto, Canada
2016   Ryan Gander Nomadic Resident Student Exhibition - OCAD University Ada Slaight Gallery - Toronto, Canada
2015   40, i nuovo 20 (Forties Are the New Twenties) - OCAD University Great Hall - Toronto, Canada
2015   Nuit Rose - A Festival of Queer Art & Performance - The 519 - Toronto, Canada
2015   Prospettiva - OCAD University Studio - Florence, Italy
2015   B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Beamer) - Angie's Pub - Florence, Italy
2015   Art Clash - California State University International Program - Florence, Italy
2014   Open Studio - OCAD University Studio - Florence, Italy
2014   Contrapuntal - Mayday Club - Florence, Italy
2013   iCiCiC - First Year Student Exhibition - OCAD University Great Hall - Toronto, Canada
2013   First Impressions - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada 

2017   Emerging Artist Award Residency - Spark Box Studio - Picton, Canada
2016-2017   YYZ LAB Artist Residency - YYZ Artist Outlet - Toronto, Canada
2016   Feminist Art Conference Residency - Artscape Gibraltar Point - Toronto, Canada
2016   Nomadic Residency with Ryan Gander - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada 

2016   GAL's Third Annual Auction - Girls Art League Art - Xpace Cultural Centre - Toronto, Canada
2016   Art Attack - Auction In Support of Buddies In Bad Times Theatre - Buddies In Bad Times - Toronto, Canada 

2017   Tools, Toys, and Tricks of The Trade: Redefining the Domestic Sphere - Artist Talk & Panel Discussion - Feminist Art Conference - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada
2016   We Are What We Fear: On WW2 Germany & the Systematic Oppression of Identity - Artist Talk - Erin Finley, DRPT-1006 Drawing II - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada
2014   Research as Practice - Artist Talk - Erin Finley, Sessional Instructor - DRPT-1C02 Drawing II - OCAD University - Toronto, Canada 

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Kayla was invited to do a five week residency at Struts and Faucet in 2018. 

Kayla is pursued her second printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio in August.

The Madeleine Collective featured Kayla's work in Episode 1 of their series "This Art Works", in partnership with CBC Arts & OCAD University.

Participants of 2016/17 YYZ LAB Artist Residency exhibited at YYZ Artist Outlet at 401 Richmond in Toronto in July.

Kayla exhibited at Bunker 2 Gallery's group exhibition "Vacancy" June 8 - July 9 2017. This is a featured exhibition in the Nuit Rose Festival.

The Drake Art Blog visited Kayla at her studio for an interview about her work and the Akin Collective Pop Ups at The Drake Hotel, and The Drake 150.

Kayla's work as published alongside an interview in Discount Magazine Food Issue in May 2017.

Kayla's work was published in Milkweed Zine Issue III. Her work was featured on the cover and in a spread within. Her painting "Honey, Pass the Corn Pops" was exhibited at the launch party at Brandscape in March.

As the recipient of the Sparkbox Studio Emerging Artist Residency Award 2017, Kayla just finished a printmaking residency at Spark Box Studio in Picton, Canada.

Dirty Laundry released an interview with Kayla in early February.

"Whipping Cream" and "I Guess We're Calling In Sick Today" exhibited at the 2017 Feminist Art Conference exhibition "Embodied Resistance" in January at OCAD University in Toronto.

Kayla spoke on a panel & presented an artist talk on "Tools, Toys and Tricks of The Trade: Redefining the Domestic Sphere" at the 2017 Feminist Art Conference at OCAD University in Toronto.

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